Yes to Grandmas, No to Drones

From the Syracuse Peace Council: Drone Resister Sentenced to One Year in Prison Base’s Order of Protection Begs Judgement:

On July 10, grandmother of three, Mary Anne Grady Flores was sentenced to one year in prison for being found guilty of violating an order of protection. A packed courtroom of over 100 supporters was stunned as she was led away, and vowed to continue the resistance.

These orders of protection, typically used in domestic violence situations or to protect a victim or witness to a crime, have been issued to people participating in nonviolent resistance actions at Hancock Air Base since late 2012. The base, near Syracuse NY, pilots unmanned Reaper drones over Afghanistan, and trains drone pilots, sensor operators and maintenance technicians. The orders had been issued to “protect” Colonel Earl Evans, Hancock’s mission support commander, who wanted to keep protesters “out of his driveway.”

Mary Anne began her sentencing statement with, “Your honor, a series of judicial perversions brings me here before you tonight.” She concluded that the “final perversion is the reversal of who is the real victim here: the commander of a military base whose drones kill innocent people halfway around the world, or those innocent people themselves who are the real ones in need of protection from the terror of US drone attacks?”

The orders of protection are being challenged on many legal grounds.

Mary Anne had been issued a temporary order in 2012. The next year, she photographed a nonviolent witness at the base, not participating herself because she did not want to violate the order. The irony is that those who actually participated in the action were acquitted, while Mary Anne was charged with violating the order.

Even though the pre-sentencing report recommended no jail time, Judge Gideon sentenced Mary Anne to the maximum of a year in prison. As he imposed his sentence, the judge referred to his previous Hancock decision. He had stated then and insinuated now, “This has got to stop.”

In addition, Mary Anne was fined $1000 plus a $205 court surcharge and a $50 fee to have her DNA collected.

Her verdict is being appealed.

How you can help

  1. Send letters of support to Mary Anne Grady Flores c/o Onodaga County Department of Correction, PO Box 143, Jamesville, NY 13078.
  2. Mary Anne’s lawyer is appealing this case and financial support would be gladly accepted. Make checks out to Ithaca Catholic Worker (with Mary Anne’s name in the memo) and send them to 133 Sheffield Road, Ithaca, New York 14850.
  3. Help spread this Democracy Now link around: Grandmother Sentenced to 1 Year in Prison After Protest at U.S. Drone Base — and ask your local media to cover this situation. Write something yourself if you can.

These suggestions are amended from a Facebook post by Ellen Grady. She can be reached at demottgrady6 at gmail dot com for more information on upcoming trials and related support efforts.


Cheap Vegan Literature

action for animals flierAction for Animals offers vegan literature for only printing and shipping costs. Check out their catalog here.

I think it’s important that we distribute media that fits with vegan values, i.e., that’s not racist or sexist or classist. It’s also important that we cite our sources, use accurate information, and avoid hyperbole and cultural cooptation. Increasingly, folks are caring (intersectionally) about the personal politics and ethics of the people behind literature, too. What organizations do you like to support with your literature distribution?

Some vegan news and some news of vegans

I’m still caught up in the world of new parenthood, but I had to share these few things that have been sitting in my in-box. Hope you’re all having a beautiful spring!

“Who is smarter: a person or an ape?”


“New research shows that we have grossly underestimated both the scope and the scale of animal intelligence. Primatologist Frans de Waal on memory-champ chimps, tool-using elephants and rats capable of empathy.”

Via Josh

Photo: Thomas Cheng and a dog, from the article

“Vegan diets becoming more popular, more mainstream”

Have you noticed your friends and family opening up to the idea of veganism in a new way recently? I know I have! I feel like the whole world is going vegan – it’s really different than just a few years ago, when I would talk to folks about it and they often thought it was just a weird fringe thing. Leave a comment to tell us if you’ve noticed this too! (Or if you’re a recent vegan, or on your way there, tell us – why now?)

Following up on yesterday’s “Veganism on the increase as more people question eating meat”, here’s more good news! In “Vegan diets becoming more popular, more mainstream” (Washington Post), Michael Hill writes,

Abstaining from animal products is an ancient practice found in cultures worldwide. But veganism never got traction in meat-loving America. Tracye McQuirter, a vegan for 23 years and author of “By Any Greens Necessary,” a vegan guide aimed at black women, said things were different until about a decade ago. While she was part of a vegan community in her hometown of Washington, she says there was little understanding beyond it.

“People did not know what it meant,” McQuirter said. “There were not a lot of options in terms of grocery stores. There was no Whole Foods… We had to basically cook everything for ourselves.”

That’s changed. More than half the 1,500 chefs polled by the National Restaurant Association for its new “What’s Hot in 2011″ list included vegan entrees as a hot trend. Vegan entrees came in at No. 71 out of 226 trends (beating out organic beer and drinkable desserts) – that’s far from No. 1, but evidence of veganism making inroads beyond urban strongholds like New York City and Los Angeles. Some chain restaurants like Souplantation and Pizza Fusion even mark vegan items on their menus…

Read the rest of the article here.

“Veganism on the increase as more people question eating meat”

Check out Veganism on the increase as more people question eating meat, by Lisa Krassuski for Monsters and Critics:

…the image of veganism has changed markedly in recent years with its advocates becoming outspoken champions for the environment, health and animal welfare.

Vegans make up approximately 1 per cent of the population in the United States, and veganism and vegetarianism are increasing in popularity across the globe. ‘Veganism is the hype issue at the moment,’ says Sebastian Zoesch, CEO of the German vegetarian society (VEBU).

Read the rest…

Cayuga Heights deer issue on national TV!

Tonight marks a watershed moment in the struggle to protect Cayuga Heights’ deer residents from their annual slaughter:

Tune into CNN’s Headline News on CNN’s sister network, HLN, tonight at 7 PM EST, when co-founder James LaVeck will be interviewed on “Issues with Jane Velez Mitchell”.

Our congratulations to the dedicated activists of! Thank you folks so much for your hard work on behalf of our deer neighbors.

If you haven’t yet signed the petition, please do it now – it only takes a moment.